A convenience store owner on Kingsbury Road has been fined £500 for selling cigarettes without displaying the correct health warning, as well as oral tobacco, which is prohibited in the UK.
Last August, 131 illegal packets of cigarettes were seized from Ragulan on 628 Kingsbury Road by the Brent Council Trading Standards team. With an estimated street value of over £1300, the cigarettes failed to display the proper health warnings in English, which is a criminal offence in the UK. Prohibited oral tobacco products Kuber and Mirage were also seized from the premises.
Shop owner Mrs Sudahini Yogarajah of Berkeley Road, London, NW9, pled guilty to both charges in court this February and was fined £500. She was also ordered to pay £900 court costs to Brent Council, as well as a £25 victim surcharge.
Mrs. Yogarajah explained in court that even though she is the sole owner of the shop, her husband Mr. Yogarajah runs the business and buys everything. She was aware that he had bought these cigarettes and that he was selling them but felt there was very little she could do - she had however in the past thrown the packets in the bin. She has since stopped selling these illegal goods.
Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said, "This is the third successful conviction in the same month against illegal trading in the Borough by the Brent trading standards team, so thanks goes again to those involved who helped convict the shop owner.
Selling illegal goods severely damages the local economy as traders selling these products gain a competitive advantage over legitimate traders and hardworking businesses. Let this be further warning to retailers that we will seize illegal goods and prosecute them, so that Brent will be a safer and healthier borough."
Illegal cigarette sales can be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advise Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.